Listen to Amanda’s story.
I’m a data analyst. I got my start in communications studying how people create and maintain perceptions. And I transferred that skillset to data analytics. I analyze large pools of data for human insights on how people do – and what they do – to explain how people act differently than expected.
What’s interesting to me is – is that, often times our behavioral habits aren’t based on any sort of ethnicity, but it’s frequently based on things like weather, or level of poverty. Which is pretty constant. If you don’t have a lot of money, then you don’t buy name-brand things. And it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you live, that’s pretty constant. And so, I’ve been able to sort of, spread the word, that gender doesn’t really matter all that much – for consumer habits, and ethnicity really does not matter, like at all, for consumer habits. So it’s things like that, where you’re bringing in the nature of human beings, the universal behaviors surrounding consumer habits.
There’s a dimension of anxiety, is what I’d call it, and on the far end, people are so anxious about fulfilling their needs, they don’t have the time, or money, or inclination, or energy to have friends, or see people as anything but, “What can you do for me? I don’t have anything you can have.” So they’re very “What can you do for me?” oriented. Then as people get more and more resources, they hit like a sweet spot, and go, “You know what – I just want to have friends. I just want to be part of something.” And then, as they get farther towards that, and they have so much, it’s very hard for them to make community relationships, or new relationships with people, because they don’t trust them. So the sweet spot is not having too much, and not having too little – and that’s what Jesus teaches us – is balance.
[I enjoy] the mystery [of what I do.] Even after twenty years, I still love being a detective. And I also love – as I like to say – analytics comes in three parts: You’re part librarian, part detective, and part therapist. And I love all three.